Reid defends embattled VA secretary
© Greg Nash/The Hill

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Impeachment will reelect Trump MORE (D-Nev.) is defending Robert McDonald as the Veterans Affairs secretary faces a growing backlash for comparing wait times at VA clinics to lines at a Disney theme park. 

"He is a good man. He's doing his best under very, very difficult circumstances. So, I support Secretary McDonald all the way," Reid told reporters Tuesday when asked whether McDonald should resign.

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The top VA official told reporters Monday that wait times aren't the most important measure of how well the department is providing medical services for veterans.

"When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?" he asked. "What's important is what's your satisfaction with the experience."

The remark sparked a fierce reaction from Republicans, who say McDonald's comment is offensive and want him to apologize.

Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw McConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal MORE (R-Mo.) and David VitterDavid Bruce VitterSenate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views Collins votes against Trump judicial pick Progressive group targets Susan Collins over Trump judicial pick MORE (R-La.) have called on him to resign.

"This insulting Disneyland analogy sums up what many thought of him. Leadership starts at the top, and the VA needs a leader who will prioritize implementing necessary reforms to better serve our veterans," Vitter said in a statement.

Despite the mounting criticism, McDonald on Tuesday refused to apologize for the comparison.

Though House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate MORE (R-Wis.) used a press conference Tuesday to slam the top VA official, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Jon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat MORE (R-Ky.) separately sidestepped the controversy. 

Reid, who called himself an "expert" at saying the wrong thing, added Tuesday that McDonald "could have done a better job talking about Disneyland."